“Drinking Dreams”

Recently I’ve been going through a resurgence of what many in the recovery world would call “drinking dreams” except in my case, they’re actually not about alcohol, they’re about sex.

First off, I guess I should explain for those who don’t know what I’m talking about what a “drinking dream” is.  In the Alcoholics Anonymous world, it refers to when when a person who has been sober for awhile has a dream where they’ve relapsed and picked back up alcohol again. For most who have ever experienced one of these type of dreams, all the old feelings of guilt, remorse, shame, and self-pity can emerge from just one of them, but in most cases, there is generally a great amount of relief upon discovery that it was just a dream. In the narcotics world with people who have dually suffered from addictions to drugs and other illegal substances, these type of dreams would be referred to as “using dreams”. In both cases whether it’s alcohol or drugs, usually in the first year or so of recovery, these relapse dreams are actually quite common. Unfortunately, for someone like me who has been clean and sober from both for over 18 years now, they still continue to occur ,but from another addiction that I only quit just over a year ago, which is my sex and love addiction.

Through therapy, I’ve been able to figure out that on some level, my sex and love addiction began around puberty after I was molested. And for almost three decades since then, some part of me acted out in this addiction time after time after time. Thankfully, I ceased all of those behaviors since April of 2012, but in doing so, it appears I’ve also triggered many waves of these “drinking dreams” to start happening again, except this time, they are about me relapsing into my sex and love addiction. Usually in most of them, I’m hooking up with random strangers, or doing actions that are sexual in nature with people from my past that were lustrous based. Being in a monogamous relationship now makes these types of dreams bother me all the more, especially in the ones where I know I’m cheating on my partner. I often wish I could control my dreams but lately I’ve been doing some research and reflection into why they actually occur.

I have a theory that hasn’t been proven yet, but one I believe is true. For some, these types of dreams, no matter what the former addiction, are indicative of how one could still be living in their waking life. In other words, a person may be doing some type of addiction based behaviors that are very close to actually relapsing. Maybe they are hanging out with people still acting out in those addictions. Maybe they are doing addiction based things on the Internet. Or maybe there is a part of them that never really wanted to give up the addiction in the first place. In all of those cases, any of that could trigger those type of dreams. In my case though, it’s none of those simply for the fact that I have placed so much strictness in my life to stay free from all those past toxic things I did throughout all my addictions, including the sex and love based one. So this has led me to believe that what’s actually happening is something entirely different.

Is it possible that pockets of energy that I stored within me from all of those sex and love based addiction events in my life are surfacing and releasing while I’m sleeping? Could it be that as any of that energy surfaces, the dreams acts as a release process to remove that old energy out of me. I have compared this a lot lately to what it would be like if one placed a carbonated beverage out on a counter overnight. The carbonation would surface throughout the night and release into the air and at some point, the beverage would have changed properties for good. It’s my hope that is what’s happening to me and that eventually I won’t have these types of dreams happening anymore.

The most difficult thing I really have in seeing these extremely visual representations in my dreams is the simple fact that I don’t ever want to go back to that type of life ever again. I don’t want to ever randomly hook up with strangers anymore or have lustrous based moments or look at porn or cheat on a partner or any of those behaviors that made me so sick. Up until April last year, I knew hardly anything about love and intimacy and instead understood the language of sex and lust only. Trying to reprogram this is proving to be very difficult but maybe, just maybe, my mind and body is already doing that while I sleep when it manifest these types of dreams.

Regardless, I’m grateful, because in all of those moments when I wake up after having one of those “drinking dreams”, the most important thing is still there for me to realize…And that is I’m still clean and sober from ALL addictions that I have ever lived in. Hopefully, one day soon, God’s programming within me will be extensive enough to where I’m not acting out on any addiction, even in my dream state.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

There’s Always Someone Worse Off Than You…

Growing up in my house, any serious complaints that I ever vocalized were usually met with a a reminder that there’s always someone worse off than me. So if I complained about the food I had to eat, I was told there were starving people in China. If I had issues with any of the clothes I had to wear, I got pointed out the homeless people on the streets who were missing shoes or shirts or jackets. During the times I got really sick and felt like it was the end of the world, I was reminded of those who were permanently disabled in wheelchairs or were dying in the hospitals with real diseases like cancer. Lately, when my physical pains lead me to higher levels of negativity, it seems that God has been giving me gentle nudges of this very same lesson that my parents tried to teach me.

At the gym the other day, when I was struggling to find the motivation to do any exercise, I saw a man in a wheelchair trying to do an arm only workout. There, I also saw another man having to be helped in and out of the pool with a crane who was unable to walk anymore on his own. And in another part of the gym, I saw a person that was close to 400 pounds trying to shed some of his weight in a small workout.

Last week I went downtown to Boston to watch the fireworks and while I was there, I got caught up for a moment in my head due to my bodily pain. But when I turned around, I noticed there was a quadriplegic person in a wheelchair using a blowing tube and an assistant just to watch the 4th of July display in the sky.

At the movies lately when I have been struggling to just sit there in my own pain, I have watched prior to the previews, a commercial air about very young children who have been battling cancer and are looking for support through the Jimmy Fund.

And in my recovery circles as of late, where I often am going to speaking engagements at places where people are trying to detox from their alcohol or drug addictions, I have been hearing stories from the people there about them being homeless, destitute, HIV+, Hepatitis C positive, or worse.

While my parents might have used a lot that cliche of someone always being worse off than me when I was complaining as a kid, there actually was a lot of truth to what they were saying. I may be hurting very physically right now in my life on most days, but I still do have a home to live in, food to consume daily, clothing to keep me warm, running water to bathe in and drink regularly, a car to get me to wherever I need to go, four limbs that still work enough to get me around on my own, and eyesight and hearing that are functioning to help me still see and hear things around me. Sadly, there are millions of people in this world who can’t say the same and I must continue to remember this, even in my worst moments when I just want to give up from all the pain I feel.

It may have been a saying that made me roll my eyes as a kid every time my parents reminded of those that didn’t have it as well off as me, but it’s truth has persevered throughout my life. God has continued to provide me with plenty, even in all my suffering, and I need to continue to remind myself of that, especially when I get caught up in my thinking about the woes in my life. In those moments, it is then that I need to remember that there really is always someone out there worse off than me.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

Keep Going…

Throughout any given week, I’ll occasionally receive spiritual or inspirational e-mails from other sources that have helped me on my healing path. On days when my physical pain that I’ve been enduring for awhile now is extremely high, I often struggle with maintaining hope and faith that I’ll get to the other side of this. Just the other day, I received a very moving article from a spiritual writer by the name of Yehuda Berg. It was titled “Keep Going” and I have cut and pasted it into here as it touched my life and I’m sure it can touch others as well. Enjoy…


One of the most important keys to manifesting our goals and making our dreams come true is perseverance.

I have a friend who is a famous actor, but he wasn’t always. When he began his career, things were difficult; he would sleep on people’s couches, and sometimes he could barely afford meals. He told me some of the best advice he received during that time was from his acting coach who said, “Perseverance will win out over talent any day. The reason you see the same couple of dozen actors in every film and TV show is because a lot of the other really talented people got tired of trying, packed up their bags, and went home.” 

This was an important lesson, not just for his career, but for his life. 

The people you see living out their dreams are the ones who never gave up, even when the going got rough. 

It’s hard to keep getting up after every time we fall or experience rejection, especially when it seems like we are going nowhere. But the truth is, these hurdles are what require us to raise the bar on our belief in ourselves, our trust in the universe, and the amount of hard work we’re willing to put in to make our dreams a reality. 

Obstacles will make the reward that much sweeter. The more challenges we overcome, the more fulfilled we can experience in the end. 

And remember, it’s always darkest just before the dawn. 

When we feel like giving up is usually when we’re almost there. Keep going!


Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson